President Donald Trump speaks on the phone sharing updates to track Santa’s movements from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The child who President Trump queried about their belief in Santa Claus has been identified as a 7-year-old South Carolina girl who, yes, still believes in jolly old St. Nick.
According to the Post and Courier newspaper, Collman Lloyd of Lexington, S.C. called the NORAD Tracks Santa program at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday to get an update on Santa’s progress around the world. The scientist who answered the phone asked Lloyd if she would like to speak to President Trump.
After waiting on hold for about six minutes, the president came on the little girl’s speakerphone.
“Are you still a believer in Santa?” asked Trump, who listened to a minute before adding, “Because at 7, it’s marginal, right?” before concluding the call with “You just go enjoy yourself.” Reporters in the room with Trump could only hear his side of the conversation and news stories about the seemingly uncomfortable interaction were flashed around the world.
According to the Post and Courier, Collman answered: “Yes, sir” to both of Trump’s questions, while admitting that she had never heard the word “marginal” before.
“I was like, ‘wow’ I was shocked,” Collman told the paper. When asked if she was nervous, she answered: “It wasn’t really [nerve-wracking], I just had to think of what the truth was.”
The NORAD Tracks Santa program became a Christmas Eve tradition after a child called the forerunner to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1955 and asked to speak to Santa.
It’s not affected by the partial government shutdown because it’s staffed by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado using pre-approved funding.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.